"On the corner of Wainee and Prison streets is a building known as "The Prison." Hale Paahao, "the stuck-in-irons house," was so named because of its standard wall shackles and ball-and-chain restraints.
Before the prison was built, sailors who ignored the warning of the Hawaiian soldiers to return to their ships at sunset were kept overnight in the fort. It had a reputation for being a very uncomfortable place to spend the night. In 1851 the fort physician recommended that prisoners not sleep on the ground; it made them ill, and sick prisoners were a liability to the government.
So the Kingdom of Hawaii decided to build a larger facility to serve Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Convict laborers stripped the coral block from the fort and used it to construct the compound.
The prison house was built of planks in 1852; it had separate quarters for men and women. A guard patrolled the grounds from a catwalk. Most prisoners were there for deserting ship, drunkenness, working on the Sabbath or reckless horse riding. Those jailed for longer than a year were sent to Oahu.
The prison serves a happier function today. It is frequently rented for community use, and there have been many fine gatherings in the now park-like atmosphere."